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13th April 2020


Available only from Premarket Pets


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In the immortal words of the late, great Ian Dury it's certainly difficult to find too many ‘reasons to be cheerful’ in these difficult times but we must somehow find the positives in what’s happening in the world. Firstly I would hope to think that we all are sticking to the government guidelines and staying at home to help our heroes of this Covid19 pandemic, namely the NHS, we all very much appreciate the epic work they are doing, many lives have been lost from those on the frontline and we all fully appreciate the work these and all the other health services are doing to fight this horrible virus, it’s very much appreciated.
Of course, as I’ve said before, we have to come to our isolated kennels to attend to our many greyhounds and no matter how much this pandemic might financially impact our small business it’s a true blessing to be able to not only to look after our wonderful dogs, but to not be forced to stay indoors like millions of people have to at the moment. Providing outside of the kennel we stick stringently to the guidelines, we are able to escape for 10-12 hours a day, for that, it is mentally satisfying. Our greyhounds are all receiving the maximum attention that we can possibly give, we are constantly turning them out in our large paddocks and they are all getting more than regular walks and grooms. We refuse to skimp on their feed and all, including the retired ones, are still getting their normal food with top quality meat added but we have obviously cut back on some racing supplements as it’s a fine balance between the dogs being very well or literally jumping out of their skins with no racing for the foreseeable future. Even with a full day attending to the dogs' every needs it has given me a chance to do some of those jobs around the kennels we constantly put off - the kitchen and work areas have been fully cleaned, a general tidy up in and around the kennels is constant and the vans have been stripped and valeted! cupboards and equipment have been tidied, grass areas and paddocks are going to be cut this week and now we look like we are even going to be able to find time to paint kennels and other areas to make everything look as spick and span as we can. This is certainly one positive we can take and it’s not costing a fortune to do these jobs.
It would be totally wrong for anyone to predict when these lockdown restrictions will be lifted and when we might be able to resume racing even if it’s behind closed doors. Even though it looks like we are over the worst of the virus pandemic, fears that their could be a second, or even third wave of Covid19 makes you think the government is likely to be very cautious on any moves to change the current lockdown situation. We can only hope that everyday the news can get better though it really makes me think that the industry could use the time to have a major think on what the future of our sport holds. Our previously fractured industry needs to try and get all practitioners to work together which before has been nigh on impossible, surely this is now the chance to put differences aside and find the best way forward to bring everyone together and sing from the same hymn sheet. Before this whole Covid19 virus there’s no doubt the industry had made huge strides in welfare and that good work has to continue as no doubt there may be some issues arise if we stay in our current situation.
Most sports like horse racing, football, golf etc seem to be working on a plan of action for when we do return and I’d like think that our greyhound industry can do the same. Of course when we are given a date to race again both SIS and Arc will be looking for some content quickly but firstly thousands of dogs will need to trial back before cards can be assembled, this itself will be a real challenge for promoters, trainers and track staff. The graded races must take priority and rightly so, but we mustn’t forget the open races, hopefully the majority of quality open racers can slot into the top grades and invitations as we were looking at doing before the complete lockdown but long term we need to find out what appetite each tracks and promoters have to resume the big competitions and major races like the Derby, St Leger and Oaks, yes, there could be restrictions still in place on travel movements which would make it impossible to do a reshuffled calendar but in the meantime let’s see openly where everyone stands on this. We have to think of the owners who spend decent money on chasing their dreams of owning a classic winner or even just a good open race win as some could be lost from the sport never to come back again. We also have to think that if there is not a top end of our sport to aim at breeders would simply not breed. I would say 90% of breeders breed a litter with aspirations of finding a champion amongst their litters, the vast majority of pups that make it to the track end up in graded races which is fine but the few that end up running and occasionally winning the top races and competitions are what makes breeders try again, so if they see that we are not interested in the top level then we ultimately, in 18 months' time, will have a huge shortage of dogs which will then impact, not just on graded racing, but welfare as well as some dogs may be asked to race more often than they should.
If we did revamp some of the big competitions then there’s no reason we can’t refine some of them, relax the rules on what financially deems to be a Category 1 or 2 until next year, you could then cut some events down to say just heats and finals. The Derby takes an enormous amount of time to start and complete so how about cutting it to 96 or even 48 runners with the fastest from either one or two trials getting into the event, the St Leger and Oaks maybe down to three rounds instead of four etc etc any way what I’m trying to say overall is whatever we do let’s do it soon and not argue about it when it’s way too late to organise.
Anyway just some thoughts above that I thought I would share, we really can’t give you too much news that’s for sure. We hope everyone is safe and well. I hope you all enjoyed our little website competition last week and here are the answers :-
1 - Bombers Bullet
2 - Honky Tonk Girl
3 - Fear No One
4 - Domino Storm
5 - Blonde Fletch
6 - Pinewood Blue
7 - Hometown Honey
8 - Cornamaddy Jumbo
9 - Patchys Kerry
10 - Vancouver Jet
11 - Mumble Swerve
12 - Kinda Magic
13 - Lil Risky
14 - Cotton Pants
15 - Lethal Rumble
16 - January Tiger
17 - Centaur Decree
18 - Parkers Dynamite
19 - Aero Majestic
20 - Rubys Rascal
Wow! There are some awesome greyhounds in that list!
We will have another competition for our readers next week